By Mauricio Lezcano / carsntravel.com / Photos Mercedes-Benz USA
For 2018 the Mercedes-AMG C43 Cabriolet combines an intensive open-air ambience with the AMG enhanced 3.0L V6 bi-turbo engine to create an exhilarating performance experience.
The Mercedes-AMG C43 Cabriolet is likewise sporty in appearance, making it instantly recognizable as a member of the AMG family. Characteristic features include distinctive AMG styling as well as specific light-alloy wheels, underscoring the brand’s progressive nature and performance. The engine cover has a red aluminum insert that accentuates the strengths of the six-cylinder biturbo engine.
Exterior AMG styling includes the front bumper with sporty distinctive air intakes, diamond meshes, silver chrome trim, as well as the rear bumper with matte iridium silver diffuser insert. The diamond radiator grille features chrome-plated pins, louvers in high-gloss black and AMG lettering. A silver-chrome front splitter ensures an optimal flow of air to various cooling modules.
Additional highlights include black exterior mirror housings as well as the two chrome-plated tailpipes with a center divider. Further striking features come courtesy of the new BITURBO – 4MATIC lettering on the front fenders and the AMG (left) and C43 (right) lettering on the trunk lid.
AMG 5-spoke light-alloy wheels painted in high-gloss black with a high-sheen finish round off the design visually. Size 225/45 R 18 tires on 7.5 x 18 light-alloy wheels are fitted at the front, while the rear axle comes with 245/40 R 18 tires on 8.5 x 18 wheels. 19-inch light-alloy wheels in various designs are optionally available for even greater individualization.
The interior reinforces the consistently dynamic bias with numerous specially designed details. Ideal for a spirited driving style, the multifunction sport steering wheel in black leather features a flattened bottom section and red contrasting topstitching.
The driver finds a secure and comfortable seating position even at speed thanks to improved lateral support provided by sport seats. The MB-Tex / DINAMICA microfiber upholstery and the instrument panel trimmed with MB-Tex create a sporty ambience. MB-Tex is also used on the upper edges of the body, the armrests, the door center panels and the center console. Red contrasting topstitching, red safety belts and black floor mats with red edging add attractive highlights. The aluminum trim pieces with light-tone longitudinal grain embedded in the instrument panel and the doors provide effective contrasts.
In addition, the AMG instrument cluster delivers all relevant in formation in a clearly arranged layout optimized for a dynamic driving style. An authentic sports car looks, and feel is provided by two tube-shaped round dials, 4.5-inch multifunction color display, RACETIMER and 180 mph scale in checkered-flag design.
Suitability for everyday use is additionally enhanced by intelligent comfort functions such as optional AIRSCARF neck-level heating, operation of the fabric soft top while driving (up to 31 mph, initiated below 3 mph) and optional automatic closing of the boot separator.
Exclusive options include the fully automatic fabric acoustic soft top, which is available in black, dark blue, brown or dark red. The multi-layered structure incorporating various insulation materials effectively reduces ambient noise and thus reduces the interior noise level.
The C43’s AMG-enhanced 3.0L V6 biturbo engine has seen several technical advances including a modified boost pressure allowed AMG engineers to increase the engine’s power output and torque as well as its dynamism and flexibility to AMG levels. With 362 hp and 384 lb-ft, the V6 engine sets new standards in its segment. The NANOSLIDE coating of the cylinder liners is also used in the Formula One engines of the MERCEDES-AMG PETRONAS team. Especially tough and wear-resistant, this coating reduces friction, thereby contributing to higher efficiency. The AMG powerplant can be identified by the red aluminum insert in the engine cover.
The AMG-enhanced 9G-TRONIC automatic transmission is especially matched to the demands of the Mercedes-AMG C43. Thanks to the model-specific software application, AMG developers managed to substantially reduce the shift times of the 9-speed transmission. The ability to downshift multiple gears at once allows for even faster short bursts of speed, while the double-declutching function in the “Sport” and “Sport+” transmission modes makes for an even more emotional driving experience. Defined ignition adjustments also provide faster gearshifts in the “Eco” and “Comfort” modes
Manual mode can be enabled by pressing a button on the center console. The gear changes are based on the selected transmission mode, and the driver can change gears using the paddles on the steering wheel. Moreover, the transmission stays in the selected gear and does not automatically shift up when the engine speed reaches redline.
Equipped as standard with the AMG RIDE CONTROL sport suspension with adaptive three-stage adjustable damping, the Mercedes-AMG C43 Cabriolet has all the right ingredients to deliver outstanding driving dynamics and exceptionally high comfort on long journeys. The front axle has been provided with stiffer steering knuckles, improved elastokinematics and increased negative camber. In combination with the likewise newly developed wishbone guide bearings, this design results in significantly more agile cornering plus more precise and direct suspension feedback from the road. The driver can select the automatic adjustable damping system’s three suspension modes “Comfort,” “Sport” and “Sport+” using a button on the center console to fully customize the driving impression.
The AMG-enhanced 3.0L V6 biturbo engine provides impressive performance with 362 hp and peak torque of 384 lb-ft, sprinting from 0-60 mph in 4.7 seconds and on to a top speed of 130 mph. The agile driving experience is mainly thanks to the standard-fit AMG Performance 4MATIC all-wheel drive with rear-biased torque distribution, stiff elastokinematics and highly precise steering.
The Mercedes-AMG C43 MSRP starts at $60,800.00, the one I drove included, 996 designo Cardinal Red Metallic Paint ($1,080.00), Black Leather with Red Stitching ($1,620.00), Natural Grain Black Ash Wood & Aluminum Trim ($325.00), Summer High Performance Tires (N/C), AMG Performance Exhaust ($1,250.00), AMG Track Pace App ($150.00), Ventilated Seats ($450.00), Head-up Display ($990.00), Black Soft Top (N/C), Exterior Carbon Fiber Package ($1,750.00), Premium Package ($1,300.00), Advance Lighting Package ($1,090.00), Multimedia Package ($2,100.00), AMG Performance Studio Package ($2,100.00), Advance Parking Assist Package ($1,090.00), Driver Assistance Package ($1,700.00), and it came in at $78,790.00 including Destination and Delivery ($995.00).